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Prehistoric Rock Engravings Discovered in Scotland

18 Sep 2016
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prehistoric rock art engravings Scotland archaeology Photograph: George Currie

An online article in the guardian reveals how prehistoric rock engravings have been discovered by an amateur archaeologist. Archaeology enthusiast George Currie found them during one of his regular visits to Perthshire in Scotland, the prehistoric rock engravings have been described as a phenomenal contribution to the understanding of Britain’s earliest artworks.

The rock engravings feature the ‘cup mark’ often found in rock art petroglyphs throughout Britain, as well as across Europe. The ‘cup mark’ is a circular shallow depression. These were often carved either in isloation, or scattered, or in patterned groups which sometimes included grooves, grooved rings, gapped circles, arcs and penannulars. Academics have offered various theories as to the meaning of the rock art which include territorial markers, astronomical signs, symbols of fertility or astronomical signs.

 Rock Art Petroglyphs Northumberland Britain ArchaeologyExamples of the ‘cup mark’ motif in rock art carvings from Northumberland

The finds are to be included in the biggest research project into British prehistoric rock art. The five-year, £1m study begins in 2017 under the leadership of Dr Tertia Barnett, and hosted by Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Dr Tertia Barnett, an honorary fellow of the University of Edinburgh, described how rock art is “relatively undervalued and little known”, “This project is very exciting.”

Speaking about finding ancient artworks that no one has seen for thousands of years, George Currie said “It’s quite a privilege.” He believes there is much more art yet to be discovered.

To read the full article: 
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/17/rock-art-amateur-archaeologist-scotland

More on rock art and prehistory in Britain: 
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/british_isles_prehistory_archive/index.php

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